The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union on Thursday shocked the world. This is a decision which will affect the world as we know it for decades to come. As a student outside of Europe this decision was welcomed by me due to easier student visas but after my shallow moment of triumph had passed, it led to the rise of some startling realisations.
The Brexit campaign was ridiculed when it was brought up, it was ridiculed when it started to gain momentum and it was ridiculed when polls showed it to be neck and neck with the alternative. Nobody in the world though that Britain would actually vote in favour of a campaign such as this, one that would ensure economic and political turbulence for years to come. People just chose to ignore all statistics which showed a surge in popularity for the ‘Leave’ campaign and now that it is upon us no one is prepared.
Sound familiar ? Does the name Donald Trump ring a bell ?
The Trump campaign bears a striking resemblance to the Brexit campaign. Trump’s major policies like border control, immigration bans and opposition to global trade are eerily similar to the sentiments which resulted in the victory of the Brexit campaign. Shortly after the vote Trump commented, “Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence, Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by, and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.” This move by Britain coupled by gentle reminders like these by Trump may well influence the undecided voter and lead him to make an uninformed choice.
The referendum campaign has used issues like mass immigration, distrust towards the top 1% and sovereignty to bring forth their point, issues that are the crux of the Presidential Race in America. Donald Trump was aaa well-known advocate for the ‘Leave’ campaign and his rival, presumptive Democratic nominee was a supporter for the ‘Stay’ campaign. Hilary losing now does not affect the United States much but come November if the same emotions prevail that gave life to the Brexit campaign, be prepared for a turbulent decade.
Voters who voted for the Brexit did more than just welcome recession and topple one of the best leaders the country has seen. They showed the world that how much influence they have over policies and their power to deliver stunning shocks that shatter all beliefs in common sense and logic. The only positive I see about the success of this campaign apart from an easier student visa for me, is that once Americans see what a catastrophe this decision was they might not vote for Donald Drumpf.